Rotherham Titans’ five-point win marred as ace forwards are hurt

Injured on home debut: Titans' Latu Makaafi takes control from the lineout.     Picture: Steve Parkin
Injured on home debut: Titans' Latu Makaafi takes control from the lineout. Picture: Steve Parkin
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Rotherham Titans will find out later today how long they are going to be without two of their most influential forwards who were injured during their first home win of the season at Clifton Lane.

Flanker Latu Makaafi and lock Barney Maddison suffered serious injuries during the first half against the Championship’s bottom side who were much more competitive than expected.

Makaafi suffered a suspected broken collar bone after 20 minutes and 10 minutes later, second row Maddison badly hurt his knee.

Coach Andre Bester was already looking to strengthen the squad by recruiting another lock, but following the injuries to Makaafi, on his home debut, and Maddison, he may concentrate on signing a forward who can play in the second row, and at the back of the scrum.

Rotherham’s win by six tries to four gave them a winning bonus point, the first time this season they have claimed a maximum of five points.

But Bester will be expecting his players to show more awareness in defence in Friday’s league clash at improving Plymouth.

Jersey, who have lost all four Championship games, should never be allowed to score four tries at Clifton Lane. The outstanding figure and match winner was Scottish centre Garry Law who had not started a league match previously because of a sore ankle.

Law produced a flawless performance and finished with 29 points: a try, six conversions and four penalties.

Another Scotsman to make an impact on his Championship debut was winger Michael Doneghan, scoring a late second half try after intelligently seizing his opportunity.

During a powerful first half effort Rotherham established control with ries from winger Eamonn Sheridan, flanker Carl Kirwan, centre Palepoi Nonu and back row forward Alex Rieder, set up an interval lead of 34-10.

But their authority disappeared as the second half unfolded.

Rotherham: Whitehead, Homan, Law, Nonu, Sheridan, McKinney, Williams, Cahill, Baines, Davies, Patrick, Maddison, Rieder, Makaafi, Pitman. Replacements: Stagg, Gardiner, Gadd, Sanderson, Kirwan, Doneghan, Gill.

Titans tries: Sheridan, Kirwan, Nonu, Rieder, Law, Doneghan; conversions: Law 6; penalties: Law 4.